Plant DetailShow Menu

Echinacea laevigata is often confused with:
Echinacea purpurea Flowers (Wake County, NC)
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola pedata Viola pedata
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Solidago chilensis Solidago odora in the fall in Moore County

Sometimes misspelled as "Smooth Purple Cone Flower" Echinacea laevigata

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ek-in-AY-shee-a lee-vih-GAY-tuh
Description

Smooth Purple Coneflower is a native wildflower in the aster family found in the Piedmont of NC, SC, VA and GA growing in disturbed areas as along roadways and areas cleared by fire. This echinacea looks similar to its relative Echinacea purpura but the ray flowers droop down further and may be fewer in number. This plant will grow up to 5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, blooms during the summer and attracts pollinators and songbirds, especially finches who love the seeds. It will spread by rhizomes and seeds. 

 "Echinacea"  is derived from the Greek word echinos which means sea-urchin or hedgehog, referring to the pointy cone found in the center of flowers in this genus. Echinacea laevigata is a federally listed endangered species found in the Piedmont region of the United States. 

This is an adaptable plant that is easy to grow. It prefers full sun but tolerates part shade. Plant in average medium to dry well-drained soils and keep moist until established. It prefers neutral to alkaline soils rich in calcium and magnesium. Once established it is drought, heat, humidity and poor soil tolerant.  Deadheading will promote more blooms but be sure to leave some for the birds and reseeding. 

Use this plant in the native pollinator garden, in groups or as a middle to back-of-the-border plant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Plants are relatively pest resistant but Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple flowers#honey bees#nectar plant#coneflower#piedmont#low maintenance#spring flowers#specialized bees#summer flowers#deer resistant#daisy-like#native garden#cutting garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#larval host plant#border back#border middle#butterfly friendly#wavy-lined emerald butterfly#food source winter#groups
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple flowers#honey bees#nectar plant#coneflower#piedmont#low maintenance#spring flowers#specialized bees#summer flowers#deer resistant#daisy-like#native garden#cutting garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#larval host plant#border back#border middle#butterfly friendly#wavy-lined emerald butterfly#food source winter#groups
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Echinacea
    Species:
    laevigata
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Pennsylvania to SE. U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    NC, SC, VA GA
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata) larvae. The flower is visited by honey and native bees for its nectar and birds in the winter if seed heads are not removed.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a tan, dry, 4-sided achene about 0.2 inch long, banded, and usually hairless. They are formed by the center disc flowers
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Blooms from May to Aug. with narrow purple or light pink ray flowers that droop down and are about 4" long.  The disk flowers in the center rise in a cone shape and are dark purple.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaf blades are 4 - 20 inches long and 1 - 2.5 inches wide. The upper surface is slightly rough with stiff hairs and the undersides are smooth. The margins have small teeth, especially near the tip. Stem leaves are similar but smaller, alternately and widely spaced up the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The petioles are winged and purple-tinged.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought